People Like Us by Robert Bly
Can’t sleep. All this rain. When you live on an island it’s hard to romanticize the weather; I’ve seen enough to know that it can destroy houses, families, lives. Still. Still. Last night in bed I listened to the rain pounding on the roof. It felt so heavy, so full. I should’ve been afraid. I mean, I worried, for a while. Thought the water would escape past the pipes again, run down my lovely ruined blue walls, slowly make its way towards my makeshift bed on the floor, stacks of books. Thought that in my most vulnerable moment the world would suddenly do me in, you know— the girl who goes in her sleep; a comeuppance, an unfortunate electrocution, rain water and a small lamp doing their dance. I should’ve been afraid. But I was too busy thinking about you again, which is a tiny little death I go through, most days.
The rain, you, the sea. I can’t help myself.
People Like Us
There are more like us. All over the world
There are confused people, who can’t remember
The name of their dog when they wake up, and
Who love God but can’t remember where
He was when they went to sleep. It’s
All right. The world cleanses itself this way.
A wrong number occurs to you in the middle
Of the night, you dial it, it rings just in time
To save the house. And the second-story man
Gets the wrong address, where the insomniac lives,
And he’s lonely , and they talk, and the thief
Goes back to college. Even in graduate school,
You can wander into the wrong classroom,
And hear great poems lovingly spoken
By the wrong professor. And you find your soul
And greatness has a defender, and even in death
I’m officially a fan!
“Who knows whether the sea heals or corrodes?:
what the sun burns up of it, the moon puts back.”
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